Gaelic football celebration mixes fun with hard-fought matches

The ladies of Ireland and Cayman took on the ladies of the Rest Of The World, but victory eluded them.

The Cayman Islands Gaelic Football Club hosted their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at Cayman International School in Camana Bay on March 20 with participants of all ages enjoying the classic Gaelic sport and various other games.

Starting off the day, the men of Ireland faced the Rest of The World XIII (ROTW). In a nail-biting grudge match. Ireland came out the victors, just barely. The “Towers from Down Under” – Dan McKenna and Scott McDonald – controlled the middle of the park for ROTW, but a fantastic solo effort by Niall “the Cannon” Hanna in the dying minutes ended in a well-taken goal that ROTW couldn’t recover from.

The ladies of Ireland and Cayman took on the ladies of the Rest of The World. The Irish – with the help of Cayman – stepped on to the field looking to take back the power, but it was not to be.

Starting off the day, the men of Ireland defeated the Rest of The World XIII.
Starting off the day, the men of Ireland defeated the Rest of The World XIII.

The ROTW peppered the Irish goal from early on. Jane “Yay Me” Hale-Smith and Elena “Schillachi” Testori showed why they’re ranked top as ROTW racked up an insurmountable score by halftime. Ireland and Cayman gained some composure in the second half, limiting ROTW to only two scores as they valiantly tried to level the score. Led by Emma Ward-Santiago, with great displays from rookie Quincy “I still prefer rugby” Clark and Louise “the Nutcracker” Nicholson, Ireland conceded the game.

The rest of the day was a much more lighthearted affair. Adrian Lynch coordinated the kids games, with the Cayman Prep youngsters showing great promise since they now have Gaelic football in their physical education curriculum.

In the kids games, the Cayman Prep youngsters showed great promise, since Gaelic football is part of their physical education curriculum.
In the kids games, the Cayman Prep youngsters showed great promise, since Gaelic football is part of their physical education curriculum.

The much-anticipated Puc Fada and Welly Throwing competitions provided plenty of laughs as the men and women vied for year-long bragging rights. Not surprisingly, Jane Hale came out the winner in both. Paul “Sad Elf” Nestor showed off his hurling heritage as his winning puc was only a few feet short of the entire length of the pitch. Jarladth “Link” Travers took the welly throwing title with ease. The club committee thanked its sponsors, as well as all those who turned out with their families to represent the club.

The league resumes at noon, April 3, at the Cayman International School sports grounds.

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